logo Walking Britain

Highland Walk
Stac Pollaidh

County/Area - Highland - Northern Highland

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 3.0 miles / 4.9 km    Ascent - 1750 feet / 530 metres

Time - 3 hours 20 minutes    Grade - easy/mod

Start - OS grid reference NC107095
Lat 58.03414 // Long -5.207922
Postcode IV26 2YB (approx. location only)
what3words start shrubbery.remarking.clinking

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer 439Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer 439Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 15Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 15Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Stac Pollaidh Photo from the walk - Stac Pollaidh Photo from the walk - Stac Pollaidh Photo from the walk - Stac Pollaidh Photo from the walk - Stac Pollaidh Photo from the walk - Stac Pollaidh
Click thumbnails for larger images.

Stac Pollaidh is a small hill by Scottish standards yet it attracts many people than one might imagine. Occupying a solitary position in Assynt in northwest Scotland and with an unmistakable profile it soon becomes evident why this hill is climbed by so many people.

Stac Pollaidh Stac Pollaidh Stac Pollaidh Stac Pollaidh Stac Pollaidh Stac Pollaidh 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

There is small car park (grid ref. NC107095) on the minor road running from the A835 Ullapool to Kylesku road to Lochinver. Cross the road and take the obvious path. You go through a deer fence and continue steeply uphill. Just after the second gate the path divides. Turn left here and still climbing, traverse the wild moorland across the southern face of the hill. The path is well constructed and eventually turns north and then east to reach the northern aspect of Stac Pollaidh.

Continue on the path to join the path coming from the other way and climb again more steeply onto the main ridge of the hill. The views are stupendous with many of the iconic hills of Sutherland including Cul Mor, Suilven, Canisp, and Quinag. If the weather is clear then the panorama will include many more hills in this beautifully wild part of Scotland.

For most people making the ascent onto Stac Pollaidh few will make the true summit. This requires a head for heights and some scrambling skills. Do be careful and do not over estimate your abilities. Despite its modest height this is a serious summit and the most challenging in the area. Despite not making the top you can still enjoy the views which are little different than from the true summit.

My preferred descent is to reverse the outward route and not make the full circular trip. Why? I suppose it is much quieter on the western half of the circuit than what most perceive as the shortest and more direct route at the eastern end of the hill. The descent is very pleasant with beautiful views ahead all the way down to the car park.



Other walks nearby

Walk 2529 Stac Pollaidh Circular - easy/mod - 2.8 miles/4.6 km

Walk 1316 Falls of Kirkaig from Inverkirkaig - easy - 5.8 miles/9.4 km

Walk 1769 Suilven (North-western approach) - hard - 12.0 miles/19.5 km

Walk 1312 Achmelvich Bay and Alltanabradhan - easy - 3.0 miles/4.9 km

Walk 1319 The Bone Caves of Inchnadamph - easy - 3.0 miles/4.9 km

Walk 1018 Beinn Ghobhlach from Badrallach - moderate - 6.0 miles/9.8 km

Walk 3272 Conival & Ben More Assynt from Inchnadamph - hard - 11.0 miles/17.9 km

Walk 1317 Sail Gharbh (Quinag) from Kylesku - moderate - 5.4 miles/8.8 km

Walk 1117 Glas Bheinn & Eas a' Chual Aluinn (waterfall) - mod/hard - 8.5 miles/13.8 km

Walk 1266 The Old Man of Stoer and the Point of Stoer - easy - 4.5 miles/7.3 km

Recommended Books & eBooks

Walking the Munros Vol 2 - Northern Highlands and the Cairngorms

Walking the Munros Vol 2 - Northern Highlands and the CairngormsGuidebook to walking the northern Munros, covering the northern Highlands, the Cairngorms and the Isle of Skye. 70 routes are described, including those up Ben Macdui, Braeriach and Cairn Gorm. Routes range from 7 to 46km, requiring a fair level of fitness. The second of two guidebooks to walking Scotland's Munros: peaks higher than 3000ft.
More information

Great Mountain Days in Scotland

Great Mountain Days in ScotlandInspirational guidebook to 50 challenging routes for mountaineers, scramblers, hillwalkers and fell runners, many long enough to backpack over 2 days, especially in winter (12 to 25 miles). A mix of classic routes and unsung gems across Scotland from Galloway to the Outer Hebrides in widely differing wild landscapes. With customised OS mapping.
More information

The End to End Trail

The End to End Trail
More information

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

CBD For Walking & Hiking

Discover the benefits of CBD for walkers and hikers. More info.

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.

Digital Mapping Guide

Digital Mapping Guide - a simple guide of how to start using digital mapping. Includes advice and useful links.